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5. Evaluate Your Sources

Evaluating your sources and spotting fake sites, fake news and media bias.

What is Media Bias?

Bias is "a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion" about someone or something. When we discuss bias in media in the US, we are generally referring to conservative (also known as right) v. liberal (also known as left) bias, though there are many more ways to be biased and no one is truly free of bias.

Bias Example: Travel Ban

These three news sources represent conservative (Human Events), liberal (MSNBC) and centrist (PBS NewsHour) stories on President Trump's travel ban.

How to Spot Media Bias

When trying to spot bias, ask yourself these questions: 

1. What kind of information is it?
News? Opinion? Ad? Does it appeal to your emotions or does it make you think?
2. Who and what are the sources cited and why should you believe them?
 Is the source given? Is the source associated with a political party or special interest group?
3. What’s the evidence and how was it vetted?
What’s the evidence and how was it vetted? Is the source a document? Witness? Or is it hearsay/speculation?
4: Is the main point of the piece proven by the evidence?
Did the sources provided justify the conclusion or main point of the story?
5. What’s missing?
Was there an aspect or point that was not covered or unclear that you are left wondering about?

Based on American Press Institute.

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